As the snow finishes its melting process, you may notice that your lawn has brown patches and is not in its best condition. If this happens, don’t panic; the grass will turn green after you fertilize it and the growing season begins. In this post we review a more serious, yet aesthetically similar, problem: the aptly named brown patch disease.
What causes brown patch disease?
Brown patch is not very selective and it will attack virtually every grass type. It is easily recognizable for its brown rings, which typically emanate from a central point. Brown patch disease generally has a more well-defined pattern than if your lawn simply has a few randomly shaped patches of brown at the end of winter. It is important to note that while the disease has a number of causes, they are all associated with the funghi Rhizoctonia. This fungus can result from a number of different causes, including poor fertilization, mowing problems, and poor drainage. If you have too much thatch or an excessive number of plants, this could also cause brown patch. Regardless of the specific cause, brown patch will only surface when the weather gets warm. In late spring, when temperatures routinely rise above 65-70 degrees, you should be on the lookout for this nasty infestation.
How can you prevent brown patch disease?
Just as brown patch disease has many causes, there are a number of procedures you can take to prevent the disease. First, make sure that you fertilize before late spring. You want to make sure that your grass is healthy and growing well before the heat of the summer hits your lawn. Aerate and dethatch your lawn, and don’t apply an excessive amount of fast-release nitrogen fertilizer. If you have an outbreak of brown patch disease, you may decide to apply fungicide. However, this method is very expensive and costs around $20 for every 1000 square feet. For this reason, fungicide should be viewed as a last resort. If you follow the lawn care tips listed above, you shouldn’t have to worry about brown patch disease anyway.
Note: This article gives a good overview of brown patch disease, its causes, and its treatments.